» summer

As I Was Going to Cornwall…

As I was going to Cornwall
I found a hedgerow, dense and tall

After the hike a windy theatre
With cliffside seats and comedy feature

Then on to biomes full of plants,
An indoor rainforest, birds and ants… Read More

Roscoff Skies

After a rainy drive to Roscoff, we were rewarded in clouds. Other rewards included delicious local delicacies (crèpes and cider), a hike around Île de Batz, and a visit to a gorgeous botanical garden. The next day, we were off to Cornwall by ship…… Read More

Quimper in Stained Glass

Whenever I visit a new city, one of my favorite pastimes is photographing stained glass in every church and cathedral I can find. Not the usual, “this is a really big wall of glass and look at all the beautiful colors” photos, but photos of the intricate details that are easily missed when taking in the window as a whole. Why do I do this? Sometimes to find inspiration for my own illustrations. Sometimes because I love the stories the glass portraits tell. Sometimes because they make me laugh. And sometimes, simply because I like the colors and shapes. Occasionally I neglect to take any photos of the entire window, and only realize this days later when sorting through my photos.… Read More

Saint-Émilion, Home of the World’s Most Convincing Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Is nine months too late to write an overdue travel post? Last June we found ourselves in peaceful Saint-Émilion, staying in an historic farmhouse in the middle of wine country.

We began in Bordeaux on the day of a huge wine festival, enjoying local wine and the best sunset of our trip. The following day, we explored St. Émilion, an ancient city dating back to prehistoric times. We explored Roman ruins, sampled more local wine (of course), confused a cat, and visited a nearby market town with friends.… Read More

Peeking at Peaks in Py

The next stop on our European odyssey was Py, a tiny village in the Pyrenees. First, though, we had to get to France! After saying goodbye to our hosts in Girona, we hopped on the bus to Perpignan, on the French side of the mountains. The driver chatted away to me as he hauled our bags into the belly of the bus. When I explained that I grew up in the US but currently live in Morocco, he immediately shifted to darija and spent the remainder of the trip trying out various Moroccan Arabic phrases on me and watching my reaction, despite my protestations that I only spoke “shwiya, shwiya!” (A little!) So that was entertaining for one of us.… Read More

Morocco, Week Six

Week six, week six. As everyone gears up for the start of the school year, it’s become increasingly difficult to find that ideal balance between life and work. I spent long hours at school whipping the library into shape, then worked on the aforementioned secret edtech project from home most nights. This was complicated by the fact that Ramadan was followed immediately by Eid, a two-day holiday, on Wednesday and Thursday, so most of the work at school had to be put on hold until Friday.

Still, I managed to get away from my books and my PHP code every once in a while, if only out of a sense of responsibility to my readers. If I didn’t do interesting things each week, there would be nothing to write about. And definitely no photos.… Read More

Morocco, Week Five

It’s hard to believe I’ve been here over a month already. Sometimes I feel like I just arrived, and other times I feel as if I’ve been here for years. A strange feeling, like making a new friend who becomes close so quickly that you forget there was ever a time when you didn’t know each other.

My workweek was action-packed, and by “action-packed” I mean “hours in front of the computer preparing a pretty exciting edtech project”. More on that soon. I mostly remembered to eat food: I made harira again, ate liver by accident for the second time, and probably devoured my weight in homemade Moroccan treats.… Read More

Morocco, Week Four

I received a request last week to share a little more about work, about religion, and about my sleeping habits. For those of you who don’t know, don’t care, or just haven’t had the time to meticulously stalk me on the internet, I’m working at the American School of Tangier as Educational Technology Specialist/Head Librarian. If you think that sounds like a lot of work, you’d be right.

There are advantages and disadvantages to being in charge of a library. Nonetheless, some pretty exciting things are in store for the library and AST’s one-woman EdTech department. Hold on to your hats, and stay tuned to my blog for further updates!… Read More

Morocco, Week Three

My workdays during week three were filled with reorganizing the library. Moving shelves, sorting out picture books and junior fiction, peeling tape, selecting featured books, and making to-do lists. I also spent a great deal of my week walking and cooking, though not at the same time.

I cooked two vegetable curries, pizza for six, meringues, countless fresh fruit smoothies, and tabbouleh with parsley from the Sunday market, picked fresh that morning. I scavenged some beautiful succulents from the edge of a beach and finally found a basil plant, both of which are sitting happily on my balcony. I even found time to argue about Shakespeare.… Read More

Morocco, Week One

Two weeks ago, I moved to Morocco. I’ve been so busy settling in, getting to know the city, and having fantastic adventures that I’m only just now getting to this post. But better late than never!

Over the first few days I organized my beautiful apartment, met some co-workers, and even introduced myself (awkwardly) to a couple of neighbors. I went on an unsuccessful quest for basil, oregano, rosemary, and aloe vera plants. I had my first tagine. I explored the oldest parts of the city, enjoyed a sunset on the beach with my toes in the sand, and visited an ancient Phoenician burial site.… Read More

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